Let’s talk about a common accompaniment to menopause: thrush. As the mucus in your vagina subsides, the acidity levels may well decline too - leading to vaginal dryness and leaving you at risk of getting bacterial infections and inflammations of the vagina like thrush. (It’s also worth noting that yeast infections aren’t necessarily as common after menopause but they can still be held responsible for conditions such as vaginitis. Tell a friend.) 👀
What is thrush and why am I getting it during the menopause?
To put it simply, vaginal thrush, also known as vulvovaginal candidiasis or genital thrush, is an inflammation of the vagina and/ or vulva (the outside of the vagina) caused by a fungal infection. The vast majority (up to 92%) of cases of vaginal thrush are caused by Candida yeast and some people are more predisposed to getting thrush or have risk factors that make them susceptible. If you’re taking hormone replacement therapy, commonly known as (HRT), could be contributing factor as oestrogen, a key element of HRT can make cells more susceptible to glycogen growth, which can lead to the growth of the candida fungus.
Are yeast infections a common side effect of menopause?
Good question! There is definitely a connection between recurrent infections and menopause and this is due to change within the vagina: menopause means that the estrogen content of your vaginal tissue will decrease, leading to atrophy, also known as thinning of tissue and vaginal dryness. This environment unfortunately more welcoming to an overgrowth of yeast. Find out more about thrush with Dr HANX here.